Independent advisory firm owners must wear many hats to grow a successful business: leader, boss,
CEO, manager, mentor, teacher, coach,
and usually financial advisor, just to
name a few.
Consequently — and understandably — most owners tend to focus their
time and efforts on areas that they are
most comfortable with and, in their
view, that are most in need of immediate attention. This approach works out
fairly well, as long as they also keep on
top of what’s going on in other aspects of
their business and stay abreast of changes in the financial industry, especially
those that might require some shifts in
their business plans.
To do that, owner advisors must keep
growing and improving their skills and
the skills of the people they manage.
Here are eight areas that enable stronger
results at any level — including owners
and advisors — and that can have a significant, positive impact on an independent advisory business.
1. Business Focus. To maximize
their contributions to the success of
the business, everyone in the firm
needs to know the purpose and
direction of the company and to
understand how their jobs, tasks and
assignments contribute to the overall
success of the firm. This includes
wisely spending money and prudently
using other resources.
2. Client Focus. Everyone in the firm
has to contribute to the creation of a
positive client experiences by ensur-
ing that their work is of the highest
quality, meeting client expectations of
“on-time” delivery, adapting their work
processes to meet clients’ changing
demands and better serving clients by
finding creative solutions while using
the firm’s resources efficiently.
3. Results Orientation. This
means employees consistently get
their jobs done, deliver outstanding results, anticipate and overcome
obstacles before they become a crisis, and take personal ownership for
results, which includes taking timely
corrective action for unsatisfactory
4. Leadership. Successful firms tend
to have good leaders at the top and
throughout the business. But training
the next generation is important, too.
Good leaders accept responsibility for
problems rather than blame others,
maintain a high standard of personal
conduct even when pressured to compromise, and manage stressful situations
well without becoming uptight, tense or
Leaders motivate team members to
cooperate and help each other. A good
team leader leads by example and will
improve results and increase moral in
any part of a business.
In addition, good leaders accept
constructive criticism with appreciation rather than feeling personally
attacked. They provide candid feedback without offending or patronizing others, address conflict and/
or disagreement without insulting or
offending others, and ask for diverse
views before making important decisions. They allow others to disagree,
share their best thinking and pay full,
undivided attention to what others are
saying without interrupting them.
5. Initiative. Good business leaders
both allow and encourage their employees to take initiative. That is to make
decisions, come up with solutions and
8 Skills That Make Great Leaders
Focus on the abilities that cultivate strong management to grow your firm.
Everyone in the firm
needs to know the
purpose and direction
of the company and
to understand how
their jobs, tasks
contribute to the
overall success of
the company. This
money and prudently
using other resources.
THE FAST TRACK
By Angie Herbers